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Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
11-20-2013, 03:55 PM
Post: #1
Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
Greetings all. I've just begun on this journey, and hesitated to post because I have a long and complicated history, not of dieting/weight yoyo, but of being pretty much unhealthy BUT skinny and bulletproof, followed by a bad bad crash due to an auto-immune disease, and utter destruction of my metabolism and lean muscle mass. I'm crawling my way back from that.

I was destroying my body without knowing it, but God decided to knock me HARD upside the head, and also flat onto my butt. It was horrible. It's also the best thing that ever happened to me, oddly. I could write a darn novel here, but I don't want to bore people, so here's the basics:

I'm the classic ectomorph. Always was. I'm 5'9", and spent most of my life at 120 to 140 without trying one whit - eating nothing but junk carbs, smoking cigarettes like a chimney, and downing coffee all day long. Protein? What the heck is that? I ate Froot Loops and jellybeans and donuts, all day long. With what little protein is in milk and cheese and bread, I likely went weeks and months getting 20 or 30 grams daily at most. Not much healthy fat, either. But I bopped along with my bad skinny self, super sugar charged and enjoying life.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago. 48. Started getting sick. Really sick. I had incredible joint pain. I had palpitations, I had fatigue so bad that I crawled in bed for 3 months at a time - quite literally not even showering for days. My skin shriveled up and cracked. I couldn't think clearly. I'd stagger out of bed in the afternoon, eat some grits because that was all I could really tolerate, stagger back in. My weight had gone all the way down to about 115 (at 5 foot 9!) then ballooned up to 170. In a few months. Eating grits. I kept saying it would pass. My husband finally came home one day to find me standing in the hallway with my jeans undone, crying and crying and shaking. I'd been to the bathroom and couldn't get them zipped or buttoned. My hands wouldn't work. The joints were just frozen.

Being the wise man that he is, and knowing what a cussedly stubborn wench I am, skilled at the whole "Leave me alone, I'm FINE" thing, he put his foot down and MADE me get to a doctor, pronto. Lots of tests and this and that later, we discovered I had fairly severe SLE. Systemic Lupus. And possibly Rheumatoid Arthritis as well, but those tests were borderline. The Lupus had attacked not only my joints, but other organ systems. My ovaries were GONE. Just gone, destroyed. I had zero hormones in my body. Not like post-menopausal, but like less than even an 85 year old woman would have. None. I was also anemic, and severely deficient in B, D, calcium, and borderline osteoporotic. Nodules on my thyroid. A mess.

I took a year of slow experimenting, supplementation, drugs, bio-available natural compounded hormone cream, and I got the Lupus and deficiencies under control. I'm now not on any Lupus meds, just supplements. (My doc rocks, and is very open to combining the best of both regular and alternative medicine.)

Then came a year of figuring out how to feed myself. It was a revelation. I discovered that my body needs and loves fat. Who knew??? My skin looks 20 years younger. What hormone function I have left improved greatly just by simply eating some dang bacon and eggs and coconut oil. Hello - the body needs fuel for those hormone processes. EAT A STEAK, LADY, YOU LOOK LIKE A DRIED UP OLD HAG! I started paying attention to protein. I quit smoking 6 months ago.

Which brings me to today. I'm now 50. I've been slowly upping my calories, before I even found EM2WL, and my weight hangs in around 160. A lot of it is fat. Because I destroyed all my muscle during my illness. I'm a noodle - I don't look that big, but I have no strength. I've done my TDEE on scooby's site, and it's 1927 calories. I chose lightly active, since I do roughly 1 to 2 hours a week of brisk walking now - the gentlest exercise I could manage. I currently weigh 157. Even with upping my calories, I was still only managing 1600 or so. I've been making the effort the last few days to get it at least up to 1800 to 1900 if I can.

I worked out yesterday with some dumbbells for the first time. Only 5 lb ones. For just 15 minutes. Using a HASfit youtube designed for seniors. (For seniors! Pride? What pride? I'm so over that.) My butt and hamstrings and quads are tight and sore as heck today from just the few piddly shaky squats and lunges I did. Um, yay? Yes, YAY! I have to be careful. I have no choice but to go slowly, so as not to set off an inflammation spiral. Breath, girl, it's a lesson.

Why EM2WL? Because it rings true for me. What has drawn me to EM2WL is not the usual yoyo deliberate dieting history, but the
truths I've learned the hard way in my own body: 1) My body needs fuel. It needs protein, and fat, and carbs, and nutrients, and sustenance to repair itself. 2) Strength is precious. Strength is a hell of a lot more important than what you look like in that dress. Go get some.

Food is Life. Strength is Life. I plan to eat, get strong, and live.
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11-20-2013, 10:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
applause Wow! First of all welcome to the family!! I'm so glad you found us!! What an awesome testimony!! You are truly a fighter! Im glad your Lupus is now under control and you are feeding your body the nutrients it's needs!! Having a great doctor who listens to his patients is key!
Great job upping your calories and increasing your protein and also beginning to incorporate strength training to your workouts!!
Your last paragraph summed it up nicely! Thank you for sharing your story!

Joan
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken! kiss

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/jaeone
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11-21-2013, 06:50 AM (This post was last modified: 11-21-2013 06:53 AM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #3
RE: Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
What an awesome story and thanks for sharing! I am so happy you are getting healthier and feeling strong. Fueling the body is truly one of the best things we can do for ourselves - not only giving the body the nutrients it needs, but fueling those workouts to make yourself even stronger. Strength is truly empowering! Congrats - so happy for your success!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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05-05-2014, 10:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
Welcome! And congrats on starting to work out with weights! Going slowly is the best way to stay with it and stay consistent. happy Hope to hear more from you around here too!
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05-06-2014, 04:12 AM
Post: #5
RE: Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
love your signin name too happy Wow what a story - really pleased and wow at at how far you have already come! cannot wait to here you continued success
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05-06-2014, 07:13 PM
Post: #6
RE: Many challenges at 50 - trying not to make this too long.
Hi, stopping in to see how you are doing! Come back when you can!! big grin

Joan
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken! kiss

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/jaeone
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